Time for the traffic calming roundabout?
Posted by nanaimocityhall on September 3, 2010 in PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT |
Jessie Kennedy, Sept 2: I’d like to know why city planners (or whoever is responsible for all of the stop lights on Bowen Rd) have round-a-bout-phobia. Why not have round-a-bouts on that road?
George, Sept 2: Roundabouts are a great idea and are mainly designed to replace 4 way stops. There are many pros and cons. Perhaps one of the “contributors” here can start a new topic so we can discuss it.
From the City’s Downtown Design Guidelines:
A double lane roundabout is designed for the intersection of Terminal Avenue and Nicol Street at the entrance to the proposed Port Place Plaza. Nicol Street would retain two lanes of traffic in each direction. In principle, this concept appears to support current traffic volumes but confirmation by a transportation study and consultation with the Ministry of Transportation is required. A roundabout at the Wentworth Street, Cliff Street and Terminal Avenue intersection may be a viable future option.
Round-abouts are a great idea in theory and sometimes in practice. In the case of anything on HWY 1 (Terminal / Nicol Streets) this would be difficult to address as it is all MOTI infrastructure and has little to do with the City and it is although not impossible, difficult to get large vehicles to function on poorly thought round abouts as they trailers and such tend to move into the other lanes making it unsafe for other motorists etc. In most other cases this is a great idea in my opinion.
I drove from Barcelona into rural Languedoc region in the south of France last fall and the roundabouts there took some getting used to. The giant one at Placa de Espagna in Barcelona was truly terrifying — several lanes of buses, transport trucks, scooters and car traffic spinning around and around in search of one of what seemed like dozens of exits… I got used to them though especially in rural areas where I began to understand how they can be quite an effective replacement for full stop intersections.
There are no plans nor have there ever been to incorporate a roundabout on the Trans-Canada Highway side of the development at Port Place Mall.
They originally had a roundabout at the Front Street access near the Gabriola ferry but I doubt we will see one there as lights are required for those wishing to cross the street to get to the Protection Island and Gabriola ferries as well as the tourists and visitors to the harbour from Islands and other places up and down the Salish Sea.
I hope that the new development and bicycle lane results in the sidewalk between the two current crosswalks (one near the old museum and one near the Gabriola Ferry) that will stop the jaywalkers skipping across the road by the Cameron Island Roadway (Promenade).
Roundabouts here in built up cities are not the solution to our existing traffic problems (mostly due to the land and pedestrian accessibility issues) but could be used for future development.
My understanding is that the Design Advisory Panel encouraged the developer to include a roundabout at the Gabriola Ferry intersection. The developer came back and said they couldn’t make it work so the DAP somewhat reluctantly accepted that and approved the plans without it.
I went to the link above to the cities “Downtown Urban Design Plan and Guidelines March 10, 2008 produced by D’Ambrosio architecture + urbanism and Citizen Plan in cooperation with the Nanaimo Planning Department”, and think ” WOW, That is a waste of our tax dollars. Some of the stuff in there cannot and will not happen ever. It is pie in the sky planning by someone with some degree that doesn’t live here. What a waste of bucks!
The Guidelines are an important tool George. The Planning Institute of BC thought so too, awarding them their top prize for Excellence in Planning.
That some of these urbanist ideas that are so successful elsewhere won’t be built here, you’d have to ask City Planners Tucker and Swabey and your Mayor and Council.